Top Destination Travel News From May 2023

Historic Route 66. (photo via miroslav_1/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Lacey Pfalz
by Lacey Pfalz
Last updated: 8:00 PM ET, Fri May 26, 2023

US Government Awards Multiple Grants to Improve Route 66

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded several grants in May to states that feature the iconic Route 66 roadway in order to improve and maintain the road and its tourism attractions. 

Dubai Expected to Become One of the Most Visited International Destinations

Dubai, the trendy city in the United Arab Emirates, is set to become one of the most popular cities in the world, according to new data released by its Department of Economy and Tourism.

Rebounding Brazilian Visitor Arrivals Tied to Air Seat Increase

During the first quarter of 2023, Brazil welcomed 2.3 million travelers, exceeding both its pre-pandemic totals and the numbers of visitors it welcomed just prior to the pandemic in 2020. Flight data and tourism numbers show a connection: an expansion of flights from key places like the U.S. has helped facilitate this growth.

Bermuda Joins Caribbean Tourism Organization

Bermuda rejoined the Caribbean Tourism Organization in May. The partnership will help Bermuda create and facilitate a unified growth in sustainable and responsible tourism while also recovering from the pandemic.

California Tourism on the Rise

New research from Visit California shows how the state's tourism has grown 32 percent in 2022 and is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels for visitor spending, employment and tax generation this year.

Disney Announces End of Theme Park Reservations, Return of Dining Plans

Disney announced this May that beginning in 2024, travelers to the parks will no longer be required to purchase date-based tickets, along with a return of Disney dining plans for guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel.

Hawaii May Face Increasing Challenges with Overtourism As Legislature Mulls Disbanding Hawaii Tourism Authority

During May, the Hawaiian government announced it was considering eliminating the Hawaii Tourism Authority and replacing it with a destination management organization; the HTA has received no funding for its upcoming fiscal year, which could pose a threat to the state's tourism management, from cultural festivals to community-led volunteer opportunities that the HTA has supported. Two days later, on May 10, the government voted to postpone the vote for disbanding the HTA for seven months, giving it enough time and funds to continue for awhile longer.

A New Era for Tourism in the Dominican Republic

A new feature highlights how the Dominican Republic is surpassing prior tourism records and plans to enhance its relationship with the United States and Europe to achieve welcoming ten million travelers into the half-island nation.

Jamaica Receives Destination Resilience Award

Jamaica received the Destination Resilience Award for its addressing of the UN World Tourism Organization's seventeen sustainable development goals by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association in May.

Orlando Retains Title as Most-Visited US Travel Destination

Orlando is still the most-visit travel destination in the United States, according to 2022 visitor number data from Visit Orlando. Seventy-four million people visited the city in 2022; that number is just two percent less than the pre-pandemic total.

Chile Ends All Travel-Related COVID-19 Requirements

Following the World Health Organization's May 9 declaration that the COVID-19 global health crisis was officially over, Chile has ended all of its pandemic-related entry and travel requirements. The country anticipates welcoming 3.5 million tourists in 2023.

Miami Celebrates Record-High Visitor Growth and Economic Impact

Miami is another Florida destination that is recognizing its growth following the COVID-19 pandemic. A new feature takes a look at how the travel industry has operated since then.

Indaba Highlights Strong Africa Tourism Rebound

South Africa is rebounding following the pandemic, according to data released during the Africa Travel Indaba conference held in May. South Africa was the third most-visited country in Africa in 2022, and Americans, particularly African Americans, are driving the country's recovery.

Disney Realigns for Sustained Growth and Success – Could Expansion Be on the Horizon?

A new earnings statement from Disney begins as a touch-off point for this feature, which wonders what the entertainment giant's next steps could be in the travel space. 

Middle East Leads in Recovery to Pre-Pandemic Tourism Levels

The UNWTO's second World Tourism Barometer of 2023 showcases how the Middle East is driving the post-pandemic recovery, with its number of arrivals up 15 percent from its pre-pandemic total.

US Issues New Travel Advisories for Jamaica, Colombia and Chile

The United States issued updated travel advisories for three countries in May: Colombia, Jamaica and Chile. Read why here.

Disney Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit

The Walt Disney Company asked courts to dismiss the lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis in mid-May, which could end the public feud between the presidential candidate and the entertainment giant.

Canada's Travel and Tourism Industry Shows Strong Signs of Recovery

New research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council shows how Canada's travel industry is nearly meeting 2019 pre-pandemic numbers. The industry is expected to generate $162 billion for Canada's economy in 2023.

New Direct Air Service From US to the Faroe Islands Launches This Summer

For the first time in history, the United States and the Faroe Islands will have a regularly scheduled direct flight option, beginning August 22 through October 4 of this year. The route will be from New York International Airport (SWF) and Vágar Airport (FAE).

The 118th UNWTO Executive Council Meeting Takes Place in the Dominican Republic

This month, the 118th UN World Tourism Organization's Executive Council meeting was held in the Dominican Republic. Topics the council discussed include issues surrounding tourism, from the sargassum blooms expanding in the warm Caribbean waters to the post-pandemic recovery many of the countries can celebrate.

Turks and Caicos Eliminates Tourism Board in Favor of DMO

Turks and Caicos is eliminating its TCI Tourist Board in favor of a destination management organization, Experience Turks and Caicos. The announcement came this month, though the tourist board will be officially end its operations in late June.

Several Nations Issue Travel Advisories About Visiting US Amid Rising Gun Violence

Six countries issued travel advisories warning travelers about gun violence in the United States this May. The countries include Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Check out the biggest destination news you might've missed this May right here! 

From destinations breaking pre-pandemic tourism records to the first-ever direct flight from the U.S. to the Faroe Islands, May saw quite a bit of news for destinations from around the world. Check out what you might've missed this month right here, and click on the link provided in each slide to read the whole story. Don't want to miss a beat? Register for the TravelPulse newsletter today! 

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me